Everton manager Ronald Koeman has been left disheartened after failing to sign a top striker to replace Romelu Lukaku who joined Manchester United earlier in the summer.
Lukaku joined United for £75m and despite the huge cash injection into Goodison Park, Koeman was unable to finalise an incoming deal for another prolific goalscorer. The Dutchman has been left frustrated, according the Mirror and insists that a top-four finish in the Premier League is almost impossible this season.
Koeman said: "Getting to the top, even with maybe the best striker in, is very difficult. Because everybody is making their squad stronger but OK, we try."
He added: "We brought some good young players. If we get development of young players, the team will be stronger. We need productivity. We lost 25 goals – that’s a lot. We need to find that between a number of players and that is difficult."
The Toffees had been heavily linked with a move for unfavoured Arsenal forward Olivier Giroud but the deal was dependent on Alexis Sanchez's situation and the way it turned out, Everton lost out on their man.
Koeman, despite not naming Giroud, admits it was a huge blow because o how close they were to the signing and what an impact he would have made to their season.
He said: "I thought we had got our option one. I don’t mention names, because it is not my job to do names, but I was really disappointed about that option one, because everybody thought we had him."
Koeman continued: "You need to understand you have option two and three, and the right price for the right player is also where we have to look."
With a space in the side alongside Wayne Rooney in the front line, Koeman insists he will give opportunities to the younger players in the squad. 20-year-old Dominic Calvert-Lewin and 22-year-old Sandro Ramirez haven't much experience in the Premier League but Koeman claims he will give them an opportunity this season.
He said: "We will give more opportunities to the strikers we have in the team,” he added. “But we have to understand Ramirez is 22 and Dominic is 20 – it’s Premier League, not junior football, and they need time to adapt and improve."
He added: "It is important for them to have older players they can learn from. You cannot expect Ramirez to already be that striker. He needs time."